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June 14, 2024

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In Labor’s Mission to Organize the South, Another Domino Could Soon Fall
Posted On: May 07, 2024
May 7, 2024 | ORGANIZING | Late last month, workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee voted overwhelmingly to join the United Auto Workers (UAW). This was the first time workers at a foreign car maker’s plant have unionized in the U.S. South, the least unionized region in the country. …This new wave of organizing won’t be the first time unions have seriously attempted to organize workers in states unfriendly to labor. In the mid-1940s, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) launched “Operation Dixie” in hopes of unionizing Southern workers, particularly those in the textile industry. Their goal was not just to improve Southern workers’ lives or grow their ranks, but also to maintain union strength in the North, as industries began relocating to the South due to lack of union density. But Operation Dixie failed in large part due to racist Jim Crow laws and other racial conflicts in the region, the legacies of which workers still deal with today. In These Times
Teamsters Local 355
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